What To Do in Westchester This Weekend: July 26 to 27

Make the last weekend in July count.

July 24, 2014

Whee, summer is just flying by, isn’t it? Don’t let the season get away from you without making every last weekend count. Start now by planning your best weekend ever. Here are some great ideas to get you started. Psst, start by making your weekend more magical by hanging some twinkly lights in your backyard. Cook an outdoor dinner for you and your husband. Enjoy a date in your very own backyard paradise. (Check out what this couple did — so cute!)

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Art With Your Kids

A Guide to Area Museum Children's Programs.

July 23, 2014

By Rebecca Robbins Pitts, a writer in Westchester. Her handmade line of custom family crests made of sustainable bamboo was recently featured in Country Living Magazine

What better way to spend a scorching summer day than making a work of art with your kids? From Katonah to the Bronx, here’s our guide to area museums that offer classes, walk-in workshops, and artsy events for your creative kiddo:

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Meet Chicory

Cook any recipe on the web without visiting the grocery store.

July 19, 2014

We love sharing yummy recipes with our readers, especially ones that will get your kiddos to clean their plates. However, if you’re like me, my ‘beat the clock’ weekly grocery store experience does not always allow leisure time to peruse the aisles for anything other than our go-to essentials, let alone meticulously search for specific ingredients a recipe may call for.

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Blueberry Basil Grilled Cheese from Lorimer Street Kitchen

But I would love to be able to try out new dishes during the week more than I have been and not just on the weekend when there is more time to shop and prep. Enter Chicory, an online destination that allows you to discover thousands of recipes from across the web and get all the ingredients you need delivered to your door by local online grocers like Peapod.

Founded by Mamaroneck native Yuni Sameshima and his college friend Joey Petracca, their goal was to create a tool for grocery shopping online specifically built for the busy home cook. “Today, finding recipes everyone will eat, having enough time to shop for groceries, and corralling the entire family for a homemade meal are real struggles,” says Sameshima. “And while we can’t force families to sit around their dinner tables, we can help more people cook more often.”

Chicory is 100% free and can be used anywhere in Westchester County where Peapod delivery is available. Here’s how it works: the digital shopping list on Chicory automatically selects the best quality products for the meals you’re making and the lowest price brands (although you can also choose your favorites too), saving you time and money and making sure you don’t buy waaay too much or waaaay too little. There is even a kid-friendly field which makes narrowing down all of the amazing recipe options they offer even easier for families.

After finding recipes on Chicory, you are directed to checkout through an online grocer with the ability to purchase anything else they offer. Just as a heads up there is a $60 minimum for delivery, but if you do decide to pick-up your order at the store you can do that free of charge.

Visit chicoryapp.com to learn more and get cooking!

 

What To Do in Westchester This Weekend: July 18-20

Date Night at Hilltop Hanover, DIY at Splendid and Puppets in Yonkers!

July 17, 2014

Happy Thursday! The stormy weather has cleared and the weekend looks like it’s gonna be a beauty.  Here are our top picks for this summer weekend, July 18-20.

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Train Spotting With Kids in Westchester

Get great views of the trains -- and grab a bite to eat too.

July 16, 2014

By Michelle Gillan Larkin, a writer living in Northern Westchester.

I have a four-year old son. He’s all boy: He kicks balls, plays with toy cars and trucks, and he loves watching trains. I also have a niece who’s almost two. She wears pink, flowered dresses and pigtails. She enjoys watching trains even more.

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I often find myself sitting on a bench on a Metro-North platform, one of them on either side of me, their wide eyes glued to the tracks. They’ve got their juice boxes and goldfish. I’m empty-handed (and craving an afternoon pick-me-up). Just as well since my arms are around them, making sure they stay in their seats. They have a blast, particularly in the late afternoon, when trains come one after the other. Me, not so much.

I drive home thinking there has got to be a better way. A safer place, a more comfortable spot to sit, and with, dare I say, a little something in it for me (read: latte). So I decided to take a ride along the tracks of the three Metro-North lines that run through Westchester County. I discovered a hearty handful of neat places to watch trains—from cafes and coffee shops, to restaurants, playgrounds, and even a kid-friendly beer hall. They are all super safe, a feast for the eyes and the palette, and thrilling for both the kids and me—though in wonderfully different ways. All aboard! [...]

Chicago-Style Hot Dogs

How to Make this Windy City Favorite.

July 12, 2014

My husband, a Chicago native, introduced me to ‘Chicago Dogs’ several years ago and I have been hooked ever since. During the summer months, they make a regular appearance on our weeknight dinner menu and have been a huge hit with any East Coast friends that we have served them to.

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Vienna Beef Hot Dogs are typically the main component of an authentic Chicago Dog, however they are hard to get here in Westchester so we just use any regular grocery store brand as a substitute. Vienna Beef’s website offers a cool step-by-step guide for how to build a proper Chicago Dog, and this Bon Apetit story breaks down all of the other key ingredients: poppy seed bun, yellow mustard, white onion, relish, tomato, dill pickle, sport peppers (we opt not to include these), and celery salt.

In honor of #NationalHotDogMonth, fire up the grill (we grill instead of boiling) and make a batch of Chicago Dogs. You will not be disappointed. And, on behalf of all Chicagoans, my husband would like to emphasize that “no ketchup is needed!”

What to do in Westchester this Weekend: July 12 to 13

Free Summer Concerts, Bastille Day Fête, & Hastings Flea

July 10, 2014

It’s hard to believe that July 4th is already behind us. Although we’ve still got a lot of summer to go, make the most of it starting this weekend with our top picks below. Happy weekend, Westchester!

Bastille concert

Photo Courtesy of Lyndhurst

There are two FREE summer concerts this weekend, the first one at Katonah Memorial Park on Friday, July 11. Local band The Mulligans will be performing from 7pm to 8:30pm. Expect high-energy classic and contemporary dance rock, including hits from The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Talking Heads, The Doors, and Counting Crows. Bring along a comfy blanket and chairs to sit on for when you need a break from all of the dancing!  Katonah Memorial Park; 98 North Street, Katonah

Enjoy a FREE summer concert on the Sound at the Harbor Island Park Bandstand in Mamaroneck on Sunday, July 13 from 7pm to 9pm (additional performances on July 20, July 27 and August 3…click here for a complete schedule; rain dates are August 17 and August 24). This week’s show will feature River City Slim and The Zydeco Hogs. Bring along chairs/blankets to sit on. Harbor Island Gazebo; Mamaroneck Ave S & E Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck

Lyndhurst  will be celebrating ‘almost’ Bastille Day with French-American music performed by Copland House on Sunday, July 13 from 4pm to 5pm. The one hour concert is performed in Lyndhurst’s reception room, which is a unique way to experience the mansion. Following the concert, meet the artists at a champagne reception held on the veranda. Tickets are $25 for adults and $14 for children and can be purchased here. Advance purchase is recommended as performances often sell out. Tickets were still available at press time. Lyndhurst Castle; Route 9, Tarrytown

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Photo Courtesy of Hastings Flea

We always look forward to Hastings Flea, which takes place the second Sunday of every month from April to October. The next one is taking place this Sunday, July 13 from 10am to 4pm. What makes it great for families is it’s accessibility – easy to park, and just as easy to bring the stroller and browse around. Vendors cater to kids and adults and there is great snack food provided by Rachel’s Gourmet food truck. We checked-in with founders Michelle DeForest and Ilana Arazie this week to get the scoop on what’s new and cool for this month’s sale:

“We are packed to the brim with vendors!”, shares Michelle. ”We’re especially excited about Bobbie Pearl and RedGems returning. Bobbie Pearl is run by a travel blogger who travels all over the world to collect incredibly unique items. Super neat for the kids to see and learn about all the places and stories associated with each item. And RedGems has an eclectic collection of jewelry and carries a line of children’s earrings for $5. Perfect for stocking up on birthday gifts.”

New for this Flea will be a comics vendor, and Penny Lick Ice Cream will also be on hand…their push up ice cream pops are perfect for little hands! In addition, there will be a face painter and a music lineup that will include a children’s sing along.

Hastings Flea: Zinnser Commuter Lot; Southside Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson

$450,000 in Westchester Buys You…

Three bedroom houses that come in under a half-million.

July 8, 2014

In the tri-state area, it can be tricky finding a house you love for under $500,000. It’s the ridiculous reality of living here — and why so many people end up moving south. (Who doesn’t cringe at those southern House Hunter couples on HGTV complaining that the third bathroom in the house they’re touring doesn’t seem big enough for their dog?!)

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Still, there’s hope. Here are a few three bedroom houses that may be worth the high price tag.  [...]

Westchester’s Public Pools 2014

Stay Cool at One of these Local Aquatic Playgrounds.

July 5, 2014

As Westchester residents, we are super lucky to have a bevy of public pools for our families to splash around in during the summer months. And on those scorching, mid-summer days you can find comfort in knowing that a refreshing dip is just a short car ride away. Here’s our guide for everything you will need to know about Westchester’s pools owned by Westchester Parks and Recreation, open now through Labor Day.

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Rye Playland Pool
At Rye Playland you can enjoy the outdoor pool, play in the sand, walk along the boardwalk and, if that’s not enough for you, check out the rides or play a round of miniature golf! The pool itself is on the beach, and while you can’t really see the Long Island Sound from the pool, you may feel a breeze off the water now and then. There aren’t loungers — so don’t expect to lay out. It’s more about cooling down in the shallow end and swimming laps in the roped off swim lanes. Be wary of crowds. This pool can get ultra packed on weekends.

Open Wednesdays though Sundays, 11am to 6:30 pm. The pool is closed Mondays and Tuesdays except holidays. No admittance after 6pm.

Cost: Adults $6, kids ages 5-11 $4, kids under 5 are free. From 4 – 6pm adults are $4 and kids ages 5-11 are $3. If you buy a Westchester County Pass, the rates are reduced.

1 Playland Parkway, Rye; 914-813-7010

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Saxon Woods Pool
Prepare to get wet. Saxon Woods is Westchester’s largest public swimming pool, and it’s got some really cool features for kids. Think: A twisty slide that spits you out into the pool. Plus, there’s lots of spraying water, and little ones will love running under the waterfall-like water spouts. If you get tired of the pool, there’s a 19 hole mini golf course on the property.

Pool is open seven days a week from 11am to 6:30pm. No admittance after 6pm.

Cost: Park Pass (see below) or proof of county residency is required for admittance. $15 for adults and kids; $6 with a Park Pass and ($4 after 4pm0, $4 for kids with Park Pass holder ($3 after 4pm) and children under 5 are free. Parking is included.

1800 Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains; 914-995-4480

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The Brook at Tibbetts Brook Park 
This 81-year-old pool recently got a major facelift, and there’s lots of fun to be had: The pool has a spray playground, in-pool basketball and volleyball, lap lanes, in-pool benches and a lazy river with inner tubes. The original pavilions at the end of each pool have been restored creating a charming vintage style pool.

Pool is open everyday from 11am to 6:30pm. No admittance after 6pm.

Cost: Park Pass or proof of county residency is required for admittance. $15 for adults and kids; $8 for adults with a Park Pass ($5 after 4pm) and $5 for kids with park pass holder ($4 after 4pm), children under 5 are free. Parking: $5 for Park Pass holders, $7 for resident non-Park Pass holders.

355 Midland Avenue, Yonkers; 914- 231-2865

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Willson’s Waves Pool at Willson’s Woods Park
Willson’s Waves offers four fun ways to cool off: play in the wave pool with 3-foot waves with inner tubes, slide down their two 18-foot water slides, watch your kids play in the water playground with sprays, fountains and slide (while you lounge next to it in just enough water to perfect your tan), and run around the sprinkler playground as you get splashed by 57 sprinkler heads (also ideal for the little ones).

Pool is open everyday from 11am to 6:30pm. No admittance after 6pm.

Cost: Park Pass or proof of county residency is required for admittance. $15 for adults and kids; $8 for adults with a Park Pass ($5 after 4pm) and $5 for kids with park pass holder ($4 after 4pm), children under 5 are free. Parking: $5 for Park Pass holders, $7 for resident non-Park Pass holders.

East Lincoln Avenue, Mount Vernon; 914-813-6990

What’s a Park Pass?
All Westchester County pools (except Playland) require a Westchester County Park Pass or photo ID and proof of residence. The Westchester County Park Pass is $60 and is good for 3 years. With the pass, you’re allowed to bring two adult guests and children under 12. The pass also gets you discounts to pools and beaches and perks including admission to tennis courts at Tibbetts Brook Park. If you don’t have a pass, you can show your driver’s license with a Westchester address, but you can’t bring guests.

So, here’s the low down: If you don’t plan on going to the pools a lot, take your Westchester Driver’s License and pay the slightly higher admittance. If you think you’ll go a lot, or if you want to bring friends who don’t live in Westchester, a County Park Pass is the way to go. If your family loves to swim, think about getting the Season Swim Pass which allows you unlimited swimming at all the pools. The only catch: you have to buy a county park pass before buying the season pass, but you’ll still save money if you plan on being there regularly! Season passes for individuals are $100 and family season passes are $250.

If your child has a summer birthday, you can have their birthday party at one of the Westchester County pools as well. Find out more here.

All photos courtesy of Westchester County Parks

What To Do in Westchester This Weekend: July 5 to 6

Where to see the fireworks, and more!

July 3, 2014

Yes, there are fireworks this weekend, but there’s also lots of other ways to celebrate the sticky days of summer. Here are some ideas: First, make some pretty cool patriotic popsicles.

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The Greenburgh Nature Center’s Story Walk is a lovely excuse to wander with the kids through the woods. Every day through the end of the summer, you can follow the woodland trail while coming to page after page of a children’s book. This year, it’s Opossum by Sally M. Walker. Stop by the Manor House for an activity sheet. Recommended for children 8 and under. Best of all, it’s free. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale

For fireworks, Kensico Dam Music Fest and Fireworks is the best place to be on Thursday, July 3 from 5pm to 9:30pm. Bring a blanket, some dinner, and enjoy the patriotic music. When the sun sets, it’s time for the light show. Free admission and parking. Kensico Dam, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla

How about a field day for the whole family? At Larchmont’s annual 4th of July Races, families will come for some good old fashioned relay races. Sounds hysterical. Plus, after the races, which begin at 10am, sprinklers will be turned on to cool kids down. Don’t want to run in the race? No problem. The event is at Flint Park, which has one of the region’s best playgrounds. Flint Park, End of Locust Avenue (take Bronson Ave off Post Road), Larchmont, NY

There are also two summer concerts on the water on Friday, July 4th, and both are followed by fireworks at 9pm. Larchmont Summer Concert series will begin at Manor Park at 7:15pm, featuring The Dixie Dandies. (Don’t bring a picnic dinner — it’s discouraged in this park, which is very touchy about outsiders, even during a public event.) At Harbor Island Gazebo in Mamaroneck, there’s a Summer Concerts on the Sound music show beginning at 7pm. Both events are free.

There’s a big July 4th party at the Scarsdale Pool Complex that is open to non-residents on Thursday, July 3rd, beginning at 5pm, with fireworks at 9pm. $2 per person. Scarsdale Pool, 311 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale

Enjoy!

Have You Seen the Baby Gorillas at the Bronx Zoo Yet?

If not, they're worth the trip

July 1, 2014

My husband took our 4 year old twins to the Bronx Zoo last weekend and all anyone talked about after was the baby gorilla they saw.

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Two baby western lowland gorillas were been born this year at the Bronx Zoo. Julia, a 33-year-old gorilla, gave birth on March 10, and on April 17, 19-year-old Tuti gave birth to another. The newborns are the first gorillas born at the Bronx Zoo since 2006. At 3 months old, they’re as playful as a 6 month old baby, and the mother-child relationship is just as endearing (your heart will melt!). Warning: don’t plan to see too many other animals if you do go because you won’t want to stop watching these babies!

Last Chance: Strawberry Picking

This is the last weekend for pick-your-own strawberries.

June 28, 2014

We just got word from Lawrence Farms Orchard in Newburgh that they still have strawberries in the patch ripe for the picking. “It is a limited supply though so get here early,” says the farm manager.

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The good news? Cherries are available to pick beginning this weekend. So if you don’t find too many strawberries, head to the cherry trees instead.

There’s a $3 per person entrance fee to the farm; you pay extra for your strawberries.  Hours are 9am to 4pm daily.

Lawrence Farms Orchard, Frozen Ridge Road, Newburgh; 845-562-4268; check the website for directions

What To Do in Westchester This Weekend, June 27-29

June 26, 2014

School’s out forever, School’s out for summer, School’s out with fever, School’s out completely! Kick off the real start of summer with a fun-filled weekend! Here are our top picks for family events in Westchester over the next few days… WeeZee – The Science of Play in Chappaqua, is hosting a free open house tomorrow, [...]

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Pirates of the Hudson Next Weekend

June 24, 2014

Pirates make a child’s imagination run wild. And there is ample room for pretend play at this weekend’s “Pirates of the Hudson” in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow on Saturday, July 5th. Start with a performance from the Off Broadway musical at Tarrytown Music Hall. The show begins with a crew of misfit pirates flung into the future [...]

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July 4th Fireworks Guide

June 21, 2014

If you’re going to keep the little ones up one night this year, make it the fourth of July. Get them flags to wave, and enjoy the smiles on their faces when the light show begins. It will make the whining — “when is it going to start?” — all worthwhile. Here’s a guide to [...]

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What to Do in Westchester This Weekend: June 21 to 22

June 19, 2014

Aren’t summers in Westchester the best? Here are our top picks for what’s happening this weekend! Kick things off with a fun night out with the kids on Friday, June 20 from 8pm to 10pm at Movies in the Park at Pine Ridge Park in Rye Brook. There’s also an outdoor movie night in Chappaqua on Friday night: [...]

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